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HELP MY SON WON"T SLEEP!!!

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My 2 year old will not sleep at all!!! This has been going on for a couple months now and I have done everything!! I am 6 months pregnant and can not bring another baby into this family with him being up all night! We eat dinner around 6:30 then bath at 7 then we lay on the couch and read a book or watch a short cartoon or show. Then we go to bed. He will fall right to sleep but between 9 and 11 he is up and wide awake. A friend of mine told me about meletonin and I tried to give him 5mg and it did nothing. It used to not affect him durring the day but now he is out of control! I find myself getting very frustrated and annoyed. He is screaming and crying all day long! He is just acting naughty!! Help!! I don't know what else to do! Does anyone think he could have developed a sleep disorder of some sort??? Has anyone else been through this??

by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 8:42 PM
Replies (11-14):
LindaClement
by on Mar. 26, 2013 at 2:03 AM

When researchers stopped asking people for reports and started recording people actually sleeping, some very surprising discoveries were made.

1. Humans do not (no matter what they think they're doing) sleep 'through the night.' They (all, unless they're unconscious --drugged, drunk or delusional with fever) wake at the end of every single sleep cycle, somewhere between 45 and 90 minutes. They scan their bodies and surroundings to see if they need anything and if they don't they slip back into sleep without remembering waking. If they do need something, they deal with it or call out for help dealing with it if they can't (or are not allowed to) manage on their own.

2. The only difference in the actual time spent asleep between insomniacs and 'normal' sleepers is that they remember waking up, and because they don't remember sleeping (because that part of brains does not work at all during sleep), and they do remember the last time they looked at the clock, they're convinced they're not sleeping. In fact, they'll often argue with researchers who are showing them video footage of them snoring. Hilarious.

3. Little children instinctively know that unless their big people are nearby they are unsafe. They don't know about windows and locks, and can't be convinced that they're safe; their irrational fears are completely sensible instincts that are simply no longer necessary. So, they fight sleep in cultures where sleeping is done in solitary, separate, darkened spaces. Because they're terrified. They can't be 'unterrified' by logic, silence, loneliness or being told to go to sleep.

4. A LOT (a horrifyingly large number) of parents who are convinced that their kids are sleeping through the night are, in fact, sleeping through the persistent and LOUD noises their children are making through the night, because people who are asleep are not unconscious and if they've decided their kids don't really need anything, they will not wake no matter what kind of racket the kids make. There are hours upon hours of deeply distressing video footage of children in trememdous distress with their parents spark out in the same room.

Now, none of this is 'helpful' except maybe to align your expectation of your son's sleep with reality --and maybe to recognize that since you're waking up periodically through the night, you're probably not missing out on more than 45 minutes of what sleep you'd normally get overnight.

What might help is recognizing what doesn't help anyone sleep: emotionally-stressful locations (1st advice to all insomniacs: bed is for sleep ONLY --not punishment, not working, not watching the news, not reading harrowing material, not arguing and not stressing out about how little sleep you're currently having.) Excitement, shouting, threats, punishments or holding out on giving (or getting for yourself) what is needed --from hugs to food, a potty visit to a drink of water, if you need it (or your son needs it) --will never work. Shouting about what time it is, or even looking at the clock before conceding it's a real need, or refusing because of the time, or the location will never eliminate the need. Hungry kids will just be hungry and angry, scared kids will just be scared and more scared, thirsty kids will just be thirsty and less able to cope with anything that happens next... A need met dissipates, a need refused persists.

Two year olds are living with a lot of frightening changes in their brains and bodies, and often have happier, easier lives when the pace of life is more like baby speed instead of adult speed. Many visits to different locations, a huge number of faces they see in a day, the tv making noise all day long, the news that to them is happening IN their living rooms all add to the overwhelmed experiences toddlers have of our lives, and being expected to act like an adult with a height problem only makes it worse.

They're little, little babies. They don't understand... and they can't understand, they don't yet have the parts of their brains necessary. They need gentle, slow, predictable care ... 

... which is a pace that will be very suitable to your infant, to. And for your body that needs to grow a baby and recouperate from a birth, pretty soon.

Slow down. Get help. Rest throughout the day. Turn off the tv for most of the day, and particularly for 2 hours before any sleep period (it may feel restful, but the flicker of the screen is stimulating for brains --those things that need to relax into sleep.) Make eye contact with him for most of the day, whatever you're doing talk to him about it. Spend a week pretending it's 1954: turn off the electronics; spend 2 or three periods of time outside, in natural environments if there are any close by; spend 2 or three periods of the day sitting reading; 2 or three preparing food together and eating; some part of the day working on a project or kind of art; 2 or three periods of the day resting, either in silence or with quiet music, or singing lullabyes, in a darkened room. Baby speed isn't mall speed, work speed or internet speed.

wickedstepjenn
by Member on Mar. 26, 2013 at 11:05 AM
I agree with everyone. I would try the infant 123 as I call it. Check for potty, water, food when he wakes up. If you think about it around the times you said he's awake he hasn't ate in 4/5 hours. He could be going threw the eating phase. Heck there's a ton going on for him, rapid growth , learning a ton, teeth... those molars!, and a baby taking away his only child status. Do you have family or friends you could have him visitwith that have kids? Maybe a play group. I'd also cut the nap. I had to with my son at 2.
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RealMommas
by on Mar. 26, 2013 at 11:07 AM

I am a mom of 9. YES I have been through this. 1st Do Not let him take Naps. Have the Dad or maybe u take him for walks & let him Play til he wants to fall out! feed him light Breakfast & Lunch, then By dinner hes very hungry, u fill him up, give him a bath & he will faal to sleep !!!! if u follow this routine for a week or 2  straight u will have no problems. each child is different. My twins went through this with in a month they were going to sleep on their own.

Check me out & subscribe to me on You tube Real Mommas Email: realmommas@ yahoo.com 

carly1993
by on Mar. 26, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Lol, Sounds just like my kid!!

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